First time cutting a cigar? Perhaps you’ve bought yourself a nice Davidoff 2000 to smoke with your pals that you can’t afford to cut wrong? Doing so could ruin the cigars structure and your overall experience. Don’t leave it to chance, we’ve created this guide for you to read up on to further your knowledge to get that perfect cut.
There are two – but not limited to; common cutting tools when it comes to cutting cigars; these are the guillotine and punch.
Starting with the guillotine; using a guillotine cutter will result in a clean, straight cut when done properly. The guillotine uses a single or double edge blade, with double blades typically being dearer, but well worth the price for a superior cut.
The better the guillotine blade and overall build quality will make a noticeable difference to the overall cut and resulting structure of your cigar. A dull, cheaper guillotine could result in a poorly cut, rugged edge and tearing in the cigar wrapping. Whereas a more high-end, sharper bladed guillotine, such as a Xikar Cutters deliver a cleaner cut. We strongly recommend using a high-quality guillotine.
Where to cut is the next step and arguably the most important. Cutting too much off can result in the cigar wrapper unravelling. Start by making sure you’re cutting the right end, this is the covered end.
Next, establish what type of cigar you are cutting; is it a rounded cap, known as a parejo? Or is it a figurado, with a pointed cap? If round, you want to examine your cigar, determine where the cap is and where it ends: the cap is at the covered end and is where the curvature comes to a straight edge, typically with a noticeable line – make a mental note, as this is where you’ll want to cut.
Now, grab your guillotine and align the blades 2mm up from the end – when you cut, make sure to do this with one strong, complete stroke to reveal the cigar filler without dragging it out. If you’re cutting a pointed end cigar, the same applies in cutting the cap in one stroke, but how much you cut varies on each cigar. Consequently, it may require a few cuts to reveal your desired amount of filler.
Arguably the simpler method and more accessible for beginners. The punch is smaller and easier to carry around in comparison to guillotines, often available as a key ring.
The method of a punch only works on parejo cigars. Simply insert the punch with minimal pressure into the middle of the cap on the covered end. Pull in and out in the same place a few times; this will result in the discard from the cap left in the punch. Like more smoke? Create a bigger hole by inserting the punch in several more times, in slightly different places each time.
Which method is for you?
Preference is yours when it comes to what you cut with and as with most things in life, practice makes perfect. There are also other cutting methods, such as a V Cutter, which works similar to a guillotine but results in a ‘v’ shape in the cap, allowing for a consistent draw. Or alternatively, there is the more unconventional method of biting the cap of yourself! However, this will probably result in taking a considerable amount of the cigar wrapper as well, not ideal.
We recommend trying both methods detailed in this guide and concluding for yourself which is best suited to you. Additionally, as previously mentioned, we recommend investing into a high-quality cigar cutter.